Categorized | Multimedia, Politics, Video

Tamil-Americans Protest Sri Lankan Mission in NYC

Nearly 100 Tamil Americans gathered outside of the Sri Lanka Mission to the United Nations in Midtown Manhattan on March 16, chanting for a cease-fire in the war torn northern region of Sri Lanka.

In recent weeks, the Sri Lankan military has made significant advances on the Liberation Tiger of Thamil Eelam (LTTE), an ethnic separatist group that has been at war with Sri Lanka since 1983. The international Tamil community responded to the military advances and what they call genocide against Tamilis by holding rallies in New York City, Washington D.C., and Toronto. Tamil Americans Against Genocide organized the New York rally.

The New York rally drew Tamil-Americans from the tri-state area who took off from work and school to urge the United Nations to call an end to the fighting.

The peaceful, at times listless protesters stayed in an orderly pack behind police barricades and recited slogans. Listen to the protest chant.

[audio:http://blogs.journalism.cuny.edu/timothypersinko/files/2009/03/chant_1-2.mp3]

Protestors waved hand made signs and printed pictures of mutilated bodies that, they say, the Sri Lankan government is responsible for.

Some signs reading “Freedom Fighters,” responded to the common accusation that Tamil Tigers, who have a history of using suicide bombing and civilian attacks, are a terrorist organization.

Bala Tha, 60, a transit worker who lives in the Bronx has lived in the United States for 30 years.  He explained the goals of the protestors and addressed the use of violence by Tamil forces.

Bala Tha on the ongoing conflict, and on the use of force by Tamils:

[audio:http://blogs.journalism.cuny.edu/timothypersinko/files/2009/03/bala-tha-intv.mp3]

The mostly older crowd sang traditional Tamil songs.  Thiladm Rama, 60, of Hillside, Queens, led the singing.

Rama’s song about the Tamil origins:

[audio:http://blogs.journalism.cuny.edu/timothypersinko/files/2009/03/singing_1-2.mp3]

Jamune Kiru, 40, of Floral Park, Long Island, has been in the United States for 15 years, but worries for her brothers and sisters that are still in Sri Lanka.

Kiru explained the situation in Sri Lanka:

[audio:http://blogs.journalism.cuny.edu/timothypersinko/files/2009/03/jamune_1-2.mp3]

Video

Raj Savermett,51, talks about why he is protesting

A protest organizer discusses whether the Tamil Tigers are terrorists.

Reported and produced by:

Emily Feldman, Joel Schectman, and Tim Persinko

 

 

40 Responses to “Tamil-Americans Protest Sri Lankan Mission in NYC”

  1. vijisivam says:

    Please do focus on this news and make the international community to know what is exactly happening in Srilanka. As he said LTTEs are not Terrorists, they are freedom fighters.
    Thanks for putting this news

  2. Mehr Potenz says:

    it is sad to see these hard working people being treated so badly and it is sad they cause trouble between two otherwise very peaceful nations

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